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In our Hood

Leaside resident Rick Hutchings recently won a photo contest from Toronto Balcony Blooms, a group that inspires Toronto residents to create balcony gardens. After volunteering at Thorncliffe Park School, Hutchings received two trays of vegetable seedlings from the children. Anxious to keep the plants alive, he constructed a vertical garden on his garage door last summer, then captured the results in his winning photo. The judges noted, “Versions of this garden will start appearing all over the place.” Not sure we’ve all got the same green thumb!

Leaside’s longest-running baby-sitting co-operative is looking for new members. Active over 30 years, the group of parents (max. 25) trade off no-cost childcare in the community. It’s a great way to save money and make friends. Contact sharon.krieger@gmail.com.

Congratulations Leaside synchronized skating teams. Leaside Novice won silver at Winterfest and our Junior team won bronze. Both now advance to Skate Canada’s Regional Finals for Ontario this month.

Leaside curlers also are doing well. Hats off to Ron Judge, winner of the Fairfield Marriott Challenge, who will compete in the provincial finals for the Ontario Curling Association (OCA). Also in the OCA playdowns are Jan Carwardine and Wendy Conn, who won for Senior Women; Peggy Rapport, for Intermediate Women; and Rob Harling, Senior Men.

Anyone interested in curling (the sport), here’s your chance. The Leaside Learn to Curl program runs three Saturday mornings from March 16 to April 6. There’s a small charge that is refundable against a club membership.

Toronto Star columnist, painter and author, Sonia Day, packed a room at the library, speaking at the January Garden Society meeting on Edible Gardens. She highlighted the best vegetables to plant in smaller spaces. Watch out Leaside for those vegetable gardens next spring. Day is author of several books, including the award-winning The Untamed Garden.

Local singer and songwriter Phillip Brown is doing a special Valentine’s Day coffee house performance at the Second Cup on Bayview at 7.30 p.m. All ages invited.

There’ve been several new store and restaurant openings in the area, including Dollarama on Bayview. A quick survey of shoppers revealed that the most common reaction to the new store was, “It’s so clean!” Another said she didn’t really want a dollar store but was stocking up on craft supplies.

Jason Huang, manager of the new Five Guys Burgers on Laird Dr., tells where the name came from: The chain was established in the USA by a father and, you guessed it, five sons.

You may have seen them on their reality TV show, displaying to the world that doing what they do is not always a piece of (cup)cake. Heather White and Lori Joyce, the “cup cake girls” from Vancouver plan to open their store on Laird by Valentine’s Day—their seventh location in Canada.

Proofreaders wanted. Residents on Donegall weren’t aware of a parking sign on their street that read No Parking from midnight to 5 p.m. (instead of 5 a.m.) until a local resident received a parking ticket for parking, well, basically any time. The issue was quickly resolved, with a corrected sign and the parking ticket withdrawn.